Beyond the Cheese Ball

Forget spending hours in the kitchen – a cheese board is what you need to thrill your guests.

Photography Daniel Wood

Everyone loves a cheese board and, with a few tips, you’ll be able to assemble the perfect selection to please partygoers. Tricia Bell, owner at artisanal cheese shop, Cavern, shares her wisdom.

Mix It Up

“The general rule of thumb is variety, to maximize any narrow palate taste,” says Bell. As an added bonus, having a variety of cheeses means you don’t need to be too strict with your wine pairings. And when it comes to selecting the specific cheeses, there’s really no way to make a mistake. “I would say the only misstep is people’s own inhibitions,” Bell says.

Add The Extras

Sometimes, the accompaniments can have as much impact as the cheese itself. Incorporating elements like fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts, bread and crackers, and condiments allows your guests to mix and match flavours. For this board, Bell added Paris toast, tart cornichons, Marcona Almonds, coronation grapes from Okanagan Valley Fruit, dried apricots from the Italian Centre, and a cheese knife to make serving simple.

How Many Wedges?

Not sure how much cheese to buy? It all depends on what kind of soiree you’re planning. If you’re serving cheese as a reception course, or just for a light snack while entertaining, Bell suggests about 30 to 40 grams per person. For a more substantial meal, 75 to 80 grams per person is a safe bet.

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